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Although prep had widely been used about in every school around the universe for decennaries, the existent definition of prep is yet to be defined. Dr Harris Cooper of the University of Missouri-Columbia tried to specify prep as undertakings that are assigned to pupils by the instructors that are to be completed at place ( Cooper, 1989, p. 7 ) .

Although this definition tells us about the nature of prep, it is the parents who had been in the bow forepart in raising concerns about prep believing that the prep is the beginning of emphasis and battle for the pupils ( Public Agenda, 1998 ) . Due to the unequal resources and chances to the pupils, the spread of accomplishment between the pupils has been in invariably addition ( Lacina-Gifford & A ; Gifford, 2004 ) . “ Homework reinforces the societal unfairnesss built-in in the unequal distribution of educational resources in the United States. Some pupils go place to knowing parents and have easy entree to computing machines with huge databases. Other pupils have household duties, parents who work at dark, and no educational resources in their places ” ( Kralovec & A ; Buell, 2001, p. 40 ) .

Corno ( 2000 ) believes that the intent of prep has to be widened and therefore prep can be a modern educational tool that can supply societal communicating, contract among equals and increase sense of community among pupils ( p. 529 ) . Coron ( 2000 ) besides opined that prep can convey about a existent sense of natural and collaborative communities among pupils if they can utilize internet engineering ( Corno, p. 533 ) .

As the prep is going more and more engineering oriented, it is now indispensable for parents to acquire involved in assisting their kids finishing their prep. A figure of researches indicate that parental support and engagement in finishing prep improves the home-school relationship ( Barbour, 1998 ; Comer & A ; Haynes, 1991 ; Cooper et al. , 2001 ; Epstein, 1994 ; Hoover-Dempsey et al. , 2001 ; McCarthey, 2000 ; Segel, 1990 ; Snow, 1999 ; Swick & A ; Graves, 1993 ; Taylor & A ; Dorsey-Gaines, 1988 ) . Parental engagement in prep makes considerable difference in a pupil ‘s academic accomplishment ( Bryan, Burstein, & A ; Bryan, 2001 ) . This determination is besides supported by Piaget ( 1954/1981 ) who believes that the Children learn best when they have chances to interact with their environments.

Research has shown that online-homework has helped pupils to better their classs in category trials ( Taraban et al. 2005 ) . The cardinal characteristic of on-line prep is that pupils receive immediate feedback on their work which is opposed to the traditional paper-and-pencil based prep. Research has besides found that on-line pupils do finish their class and prep significantly better than the traditional pen-and-paper based prep.

Besides the benefit to the online prep, there has been concerns raised by the research workers which suggest that pupils might be less motivated because of deficiency of proficient cognition acquiring less aid from the instructor in aˆ¦ .

Variable: the degree of computing machine accomplishments can do better of hapless on-line prep public presentation. It means that pupils with greater computing machine accomplishments and/or greater adulthood are more likely to choose make good in on-line activities.

Planing prep ( Bailey, 2004 ) is a cardinal to its successful completion. Specifying the function of prep and doing it synergistic can further the partnership of pupils, promotes interaction between pupils and parents and contributes to pupils ‘ satisfaction ( Bailey, 2002 ) . To do a prep or assignment effectual it is really of import that instructors make the direction clear so that the pupils can finish the prep decently ( Epstein & A ; Van Voorhis, 2001 ; Fagella, 1990 ) . Students should be to the full informed of what is expected out of their prep. It has been observed that sometimes instructors fail to explicate the aims and outlooks of the prep during the lesson ( Taraban et al. 2005 ) .

Integration of engineering in the instruction has been in topographic point in many schools. Multimedia package is one of the engineerings that has been considered utile to advance educational accomplishment for about a decennary ( Becker, 2000 ; Mayer, 2003 ; Moreno, 2006 ) . The multimedia elements such as images, sound, life, synergistic books contribute a batch to better motive and comprehension degree of the pupils as compared to the traditional printed texts ( Greenlee-Moore & A ; Smith, 1996 ; Labbo, 2002 ) .

Research workers have found that there have been some mismatches between the instructional attacks of the instructors and the schemes for cognitive consumption every bit good as processing of thee stuffs presented to the pupils ( Boone & A ; Higgins, 2007 ; Chapin & A ; Messick, 1999 ; Higgins, Boone, & A ; Lovitt, 2002 ) . These mismatches are doing difference in the public presentation of the pupils and their degree of accomplishment. The incongruent degrees of literacy is presenting a large challenge to both instructor and pupils in fixing prep activity. Numerous groundss suggest that pupils are happening English and History as dull and unimportant ; they are progressively confronting trouble in understanding their text edition which is reflected in their hapless afterschool activities ( e.g. , prep ) ( Ciborowski, 2005 ; Stetson & A ; Williams, 2005 ; White, 1999 ) . In an another research English and History are found to be the least favorite topics in the course of study ( Higgins, Boone, & A ; Lovitt, 2002 ; Lounsbury, 1988 ; Shaughnessy & A ; Haladyna, 1985 ) .

Although scientific discipline related topics went a long manner in footings of following engineering, societal surveies education, on the other manus, for the most portion is still concentrating on traditional, teacher-directed, lecture-and-textbook-based attacks and activities ( Diem, 2000 ; Friedman & A ; Hicks, 2006 ; White, 1999 ) .

Embracing educational engineering in learning societal scientific discipline topics can assist the pupils switching from memorisation of day of the months and information to a more student-centered, hands-on, reliable acquisition experience ( Bitter & A ; Pierson, 2005 ; Trinkle & A ; Merriman, 2000 ) . Research suggests that educational engineering can assist history and societal surveies larning by advancing student-cantered direction, increasing learner motive, and widening and intensifying apprehensions of historic and civic constructs ( Molebash, 2002 ) . Other surveies which suggest that computer-adapted tutorial plans for the societal surveies topics can hold reported modest positive results ( Twyman & A ; Tindal, 2006 ) . Two other research surveies that were carried out a full decennary apart, came up with similar decision. First one carried out by Higgins, Boone, and Lovitt ( 1996 ) which found out that on-line larning engineering ushers pupils towards noticeable additions for 9th grade societal surveies pupils with respect to remember, comprehension, and attitudes. Boon et Al. ( 2006 ) came up with similar consequences while researching high school pupils ‘ usage of technology-enhanced cognitive organisers.

Teacher ‘s function is really of import to do a scholar independent in footings of making his prep on a regular basis. Teachers can come up with necessary schemes and educational engineerings in order to assist pupils in their prep. Online prep can assist the pupils in reminding their prep every bit good as supply some aid that may promote them in making it.

Research has found that the incorporating ICT to learn, disposal and direction can better the quality of learning in the Key Stage 3.

Home work has been widely regarded as the lending factor to the sweetening of school acquisition and academic accomplishment ( Cooper,1989 ; Walberg,1985 ) . A figure of literatures including books and articles have been published giving assorted facets of prep ( Hong & A ; Milgram,1999 ; Doyle & A ; Barber,1990 ) .. A survey was carried out to find if the usage of online place work direction system MyMathLab ( MML ) can lend to an addition in academic public presentation compared with traditional paper-based, instructor-graded prep. The survey concluded that the pupil who used the MML system have come up the really public presentation ( 70 % ) compared with the traditional paper-and-pencil based group ( 49 % ) . [ ref this study ]

Online line prep sometimes supply immediate feedback which is opposed to traditional paper-and-pencil based prep. Some learning direction package even provides classs and tonss which are really helpful to the pupils as they can mensurate their public presentation immediately. This prep system even more elaborate information on prep by interrupting the feedback down into the major sorts of information provided.

Distance acquisition or online acquisition proved effectual in one of the researches where pupils who were take parting from distance or of off campus, performed in the same manner as regular on campus pupils. However there are some variables that contribute in the degree of larning i.e. type of class, length, computing machine accomplishments etc.

Web based prep aid systems have been deriving land in assorted educational establishments for many old ages. Systems like Blackboard ( www.blackboard.com ) , MasteringPhys- Intelligence Communities ( www.masteringphysics.com ) , WebAssign, ( www.webassign.com ) , and Web WorK ( htrp: //webwork.rochester.edu ) are being used by many colleges in the United States and by 1000s of pupils across the universe as their prep aid tool. Island ( www.studyisland.com ) and PowerSchool ( www.powerschool.com ) are deriving popularity with K-12 pupils and instructors in the USA and in many states in the Europe. WebCT ( www.webct.com ) , Homework Service ( hypertext transfer protocol: //hw.ucexas.edu/bur/overview.html ) , and WebWorK are going really common name in higher instruction It is likely that the usage of Web-based prep aid systems will increase in the Forth coming yearss as the digital divide between pupils is contracting bit by bit. Some of these engineerings are unfastened beginning and free which is another ground for such popularity in both pupils and instructors community. Due to the gradual advancement in engineering, the intelligent tutoring system or online tutoring system is progressively going more sophisticated. Some intelligent systems for math usher pupils in work outing math job much the same manner human coachs do in the schoolroom. Some systems have been developed to copy the human coach by reproducing the activities i.e. duologue forms and schemes that are used by human coach. Contrary to that there are some systems that provide immediate feedback on the pupil ‘s work by foregrounding right or incorrect replies through utilizing colorss.

One of the key features that made place work aid system popular is its immediate feedback characteristic through automatic scaling and recording system. . This system helps instructors in salvaging their clip as good. This is particularly true to those instructors who would wish to rate all of their pupils ‘ traditional paper-and-pencil prep carefully by manus but do non hold clip. carefully by manus but do non hold clip. In bend, this can motivate pupils to take prep more earnestly because they know it will be graded and the class will be recorded. With these systems, pupils can frequently acquire immediate feedback on their replies and work and sometimes assist toward work outing jobs.

Although most of these Web-based homework-assistance systems can supply benefits, they have some restrictions excessively. Some of these systems proved uneffective when pupils are required to come in a individual reply for each job. On the other manus instructors may be less able to calculate out where pupils are holding troubles as they can non see scrap work like the pupils on paper. Cheat may be easier among pupils because they could perchance acquire the replies from their friends or from cyberspace without holding to demo how they found out the reply.

Some research, nevertheless, came up with opposite consequences. Harmonizing to a U.S Congress-mandated survey ( Dynatski et al. , 2007 ) educational package merchandises form math and reading could non convey about important alteration in footings of pupils ‘ public presentation in the trial in compared to the traditional schoolroom based paper-and-pen system.

There are other surveies which compared Web-based natural philosophies homework versus paper-and-pencil prep and the consequence was negative as they did non happen any important difference between the two prep conditions ( Bonham, Deardorff, & A ; Beichner, 2003 ; Pascarella, 2002 ) .

Web-based Homework Versus Paper-and-Pencil Homework

Previous research has shown positive consequences for utilizing Web-based prep aid alternatively of traditional paper-and-pencil prep. MasteringPhysics, a widely used web-based natural philosophies prep aid system, was proved helpful in work outing natural philosophies prep jobs. Students can happen out the replies and feedback on the common pupil mistakes. [ ]

The Andes system is another illustration of intelligent tutoring system that is besides designed to help the natural philosophies prep. It provides non merely the solution of any job but besides takes it frontward in “ scaffolding inquiry ” system. It helps pupils to finish whole derivations measure by measure and have feedback after each measure. This measure by measure helps pupils to happen out where their mistakes are or to happen out what to make next.

One of the of import characteristics of the web-based prep helper system is that it provides both single and group work. A research by Lou, Abrami, and d’Apollonia ( 2001 ) found out that a group of pupils performed significantly better than single in finishing their on-line prep. Another survey was conducted by Uribe, Klein, and Sullivan ( 2003 ) to analyze if the pupils can execute better in making their Web-based prep quintessence by separately or in couples. They found out that the pupils who worked in couples performed significantly better than the pupils who worked entirely in pen-and-paper based format. The consequence therefore suggested that web-based collaborative environment is better for the pupils for the problem-solving activities. This consequence echoed the survey by new wave Amelsvoort ( 2006 ) who found out that pupils exhibited better public presentation as a consequence of collaborative treatment and authorship.

It has been the affair of long statement whether higher pupil satisfaction is the consequences of better academic success or the opposite ( Bean & A ; C Bradley, 1986 ; Pascarella, Whitt, Edison, Hagedorn, & A ; Terezini, 1996 ) . In a research Irons etal. ( 2002 ) confirmed that the satisfaction of the pupils increases if communicating tools are provided. It has besides been found that if pupils are provided computing machine engineering assists the acquisition procedure so their public presentation and satisfaction additions. ( Wilson & A ; Weiser, 2001 ) . Web-based larning system can assist in planing the class or prep more efficaciously which is one of the most critical component impacting pupil satisfaction ( Stein, 2004 ) and larning.

Due to coming of the good figure of web-based instruction aid system, the figure of practical high schools has increased. This is largely true in the instance of the United States and in the United Kingdom ( Rice, 2006 ) . Cardinal to the web-based acquisition aid system is that it encourages pupils to make a practical community affecting knowledge, equals, and instructor ( s ) , enabling them to build cognition in an synergistic and iterative mode ( Ng & A ; Nicholas, 2007 ) .

Constructivist larning theory ( Bruner, 1966 ; Piaget, 1955, 1972 ) has been named for the in footings acquiring most out the web-based acquisition system. This theory asserts that “ persons construct their ain representations of cognition which is build upon preexistent cognition through active battle with the acquisition, either at the operational degree of physical uses or at the cognitive degree of treating information or stimulation ( or some combination of both ) ” .

The surveies showed that asynchronous treatments were a important factor in an online larning environment in order to success and acquiring learning satisfaction. Through this manner pupils are able to project their ain presences and had chances to reflect on their equals ‘ parts by composing their responses which make their acquisition much more gratifying ( Hooff, 2005 ) .

Stacey ( 1999 ) and Fung ( 2004 ) have found that cognitive facets of acquisition can be found in collaborative acquisition environments because, in this procedure, pupils are exposed to different positions that help them develop judgement and critical thought. Another benefit of online acquisition is that ( Swan, 2003 ) online larning environment haf much less teacher laterality and at the same clip it offers a more democratic ambiance for acquisition, where all voices were heard.

Asynchronous on-line treatment allows pupils to reflect and respond, every bit good as to pull off treatments that allow them to show their deep thought in authorship ( Lim & A ; Tan, 2001 ; Markel, 2001 ; Poole, 2000 ) . The web-based acquisition system ( Maker, 1993 ) can supply challenges to the pupils as good which is to take up undertakings that challenge their organisational and direction accomplishments such as retrieving to log in to read posters ; their thought, their independency in larning in a untraditional environment, and their ability to be after the content to be researched.

The online acquisition can be ( Maker, 1993 ) disputing to the pupils to take up undertakings that can dispute their independency in larning, their thought, their organisational and direction accomplishments, and their ability to be after the content every bit good. Study [ ] has showed that some pupils are capable of get the better ofing these challenges, even at their immature age. Online larning can enrich their acquisition experiences every bit good as can lend in the profusion of thought.

Sometimes the function for teacher/facilitators of online acquisition is really of import in making motive to the younger pupils as it is observed that motive does non originate in some of them spontaneously due to their less organized internal venue of control ( Cavanaugh et. al. , 2004 ) .

It was reported in Papert ‘s ( 1991, 1993 ) surveies that kids find their acquisition merriment and prosecute themselves in larning more when they engage in making a public artefact that others will see, review, and usage.

Constructivist educational theory goes in line with the web-based prep system as it encourages scholars to build their ain conceptualisations and happen their ain solutions to jobs. Constructivism claims that larning is the consequence of single mental building. Learners, harmonizing to this theory, learn through set uping nexus between new information against the given information. Learning, in constructivist thought, is ineluctably affected by the beliefs, context and attitudes of the scholar. Here, scholars are given more latitude in going effectual job convergent thinkers and instructors play the function of accelerator which stimulates the originative outlook of the pupils every bit good as assist them in placing and measuring jobs. [ ]

Constructivists believe that cognition and truth are constructed by the scholar by himself and make non be outside of the head of the scholar ( Duffy & A ; Jonassen, 1992 ) . Therefore in constructivists larning theory scholars construct their ain cognition by actively take parting in a scope of larning procedure which forms their acquisition. Constructivist instructional developers value scholar liberty, coaction, coefficient of reflection, active battle and generativity, .

Behaviourist theory largely enjoyed its popularity during the mid 1960ss for both on-campus and distance instruction. Behaviourist instructional schemes to a great extent depend on preset results, Seels and Glasgow ( 1990, p3 )

Behaviorists rely on the development of a set of instructional sequences which plays cardinal functions in finding predetermined results. In a web-based environment this behaviorist theory can non function the intent as engineerings have revolutionized and basically changed the whole acquisition and learning paradigm. Constructivist attack larning withless accent on the sequence of direction instead it emphasizes on the design of the acquisition environment. ( Jonassen, 1994. P 35 ) .

REVIEW OF CONSTRUCTIVIST THEORY

Despite of holding diverse positions on the term ‘constructivism ‘ , there are some common beliefs in this theory:

a. Learning, here, is an active procedure of building instead than geting cognition which is opposite to behaviourism and

b. Instruction is viewed as a procedure of back uping that building instead than pass oning cognition. ( Duffy and Cunningham,

1996. p 171 ) .

Constructivist theory was influenced by cognitive psychological science rules. Deviating off from the behaviorist theory, constructivist gave more attending to the acquisition procedure and a greater grade of liberty was given to the scholar:

“ Cognitive theory dressed ores on the conceptualization of pupils ‘

larning procedures. It focuses on the geographic expedition of the manner

information is received, organised, retained and used by the encephalon. ”

( Thompson et al, 1996. P 11 )

In constructivist theory pupils enjoy more control and engagement in their acquisition and the instructor takes on the function of ‘coach and facilitator ‘ ( Wilson, 1996 p6/7 ) , or ‘co-learner ‘ ( Harper and Hedberg 1997 ) .

“ Constructivists view larning as the consequence of mental building. Students learn by suiting new information together with what they already know. Peoples learn best when they activle [ sic ] construct their ain apprehension. ”

Asynchronous treatments offer a flexible and a convenient communicating forum in order to prosecute pupils and enhance acquisition. This is why many Web-based class suppliers on asynchronous treatments to heighten acquisition. “ Online asynchronous treatments support high degrees of thought and interaction in a convenient, flexible environment ( Berge, 2002 ; DeArment, 2002 ) . ”

Researchers found larning benefits when pupils are actively engaged in asynchronous on-line treatments. Students have the chance to reexamine and reflect on their apprehension of the class content or the any after school activity i.e. prep. Through this procedure they develop substantial remarks that contribute to the community larning environment ( Allan, 2004 ; Tu and Cory, 2003 ; Flynn & A ; Polin, 2003 ) . Teachers states that on-line treatments is more good to international pupils who need excess clip to clear up and develop their comments ( Chickering & A ; Ehrman, 1996 ; Warschauer, 1996 ) . However, effectual treatments are required through thoughtful design, facilitation, and appraisal but posting messages to turn to the teacher ‘s inquiries is non plenty for effectual acquisition ” ( Tu & A ; Corry, 2003, p. 304 ) .

Web-based treatments or interaction are convenient for larning because they are non clip or topographic point dependant. This interaction non merely ensures pupils ‘ response at their ain gait but facilitate an equal chance to show themselves ( Palloff and Pratt, 2002 ; Peters, 2000 ) . Discussion boards, in asynchronous treatments, supply a lasting record ( Meyer, 2004 ; Clouse, 2003 ) of interaction. In add-on, asynchronous larning environment promotes collaborative engagement and therefore it contributes for a societal building of cognition ( DeArment, 2003 ; Thomas, 1999 ) .

Blanchette ( 2001 ) found that in an asynchronous acquisition environment inquiries at higher degrees generates public presentation of higher cognitive degrees. More interaction has besides been observed among the scholars of asynchronous larning environment.

The learning direction systems ( LMS ) can be used across many topics in the secondary course of study. The LMS systems are more than merely a tool. Most of these LMS are designed with the position of asynchronous larning environment in order to promote more synergistic acquisition and unleash the huge potency of practical instruction. These systems pave the manner to implement pedagogical attacks of constructivist nature, that are characterized by the building of cognition through the completion of different activities ( Jonassen,1999 ; Knuth & A ; Cunnigham,1993 ; Khalifa & A ; Lam,2002 ) . LMS are designed to encourages and motivate for ego gaining procedure with an particular accent in existent universe job resolution.

Constructivist learning Fosters collaborative acquisition ( Tan, Lin, Yang, & A ; Zhao,2008 ) by promoting pupils working in squad or group.

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